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Kevin Rutkowski

Jan, I very much like the idea that organizations need to be more focused on validation from their customers rather than from their superiors.

As I think about some of the odd behaviors of people in the workplace from the perspective of the source of validation, I'm having a series of "ah-ha" moments.


Very true. But power is also about validation. There are only two really powerful forces in your life, I have heard (except for the physical ones), and that's fear and validation. We do a lot out of fear, but we also do things to be validated as human beings. Power, status, rewards, and positions, are just evidence of that validation. Maybe Mr Pfeffer doesn't have this need for validation. His driving force is more internal than from external rewards. If organisations were more tuned to validation from customers, rather than from superiors, I think they would produce better products. I also think this is the reason why large organisations have more trouble producing innovative thinking. They are so obsessed with getting validation from their superiors, rather than from their customers, that the innovative thinking gets lost.

Kevin Rutkowski

I would guess that many of the people who are most successful at using the techniques actually enjoy the interactions with other people of influence and do not necessarily consider the actions as a loss of freedom.

The wife of the man at the law firm may not have been happy, but the man may have been perfectly content.

I once asked the most successful account executive at my consulting company about his weekend. He told me about playing golf and fishing. I said, "That sounds fun." He explained that the events were actually work related. He said that some were fun and some weren't and that he didn't have any real friends because he spent all his time with clients. However, he also said that was what he ultimately enjoyed and he wouldn't have it any other way.

So, leaders who manage with power may still be direct and honest.

Also, I think that people can be great leaders without "Managing with Power." I don't believe that leadership and power have complete correlation.


I'm not sure that I'm comfortable with the subtext of this post, and the book. I have known leaders that conduct themselves with direct honest communication an integrity. My interpretation of what you're describing is that people who want influence must spend much, if not most, of their time manipulating situations and people. Isn't there a way to try to do business with people that you respect and want to work with as a rule and have these techniques have a minor role? I do understand that we can't always choose who we work with but this paints a pretty grim picture. When I read this I thought of "48 Laws of Power". I felt like I needed a shower after I put that book down.

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